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The NAC's new Arts Alive website offers engaging digital programming and free resources for schools and home learning. Visit the new website.

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A Message From Peter Herrndorf

National Arts Centre President and Chief Executive Officer

Welcome to the National Arts Centre's new Web site dedicated to arts education for young people. Thanks to the generous support of TELUS, we have created an innovative and interactive site that offers unique opportunities for students and teachers to engage in on-line learning that is also fun! represents a perfect marriage of technology and art. By harnessing the power of the Internet, we are able to introduce young people across Canada and around the world to the magic of the performing arts, as well as provide their teachers with resource material and educational modules.

Our first module is dedicated to classical music. Visitors to can hear the wonderful sounds of Canada's National Artts Centre Orchestra, "try out" instruments themselves, and perhaps answer the age old question, "What's the difference between a violin and a viola?"

Future additions to the site will include English and French Theatre as well as Dance modules.

Youth and educational activities can make an enormous contribution to both the educational and cultural life of Canada. As Canada's National Arts Centre, we are pleased to take a leadership role with our partner TELUS in making the performing arts far more accessible to young people everywhere

A Message from Pinchas Zukerman

Music Director

Being a teacher provides me with an opportunity to encourage some of the brightest young musical talents in Canada and around the world. I believe that everyone, no matter what age or skill level benefits from experiencing the performing arts. The National Arts Centre and the National Arts Centre Orchestra belong to all Canadians. will share information about music and about those who create and perform the music, beyond the performance and rehearsal halls of the National Arts Centre. This is part of our commitment to reach out to young people across Canada and to share in the rich tapestry of the performing arts.

I invite you to join us in this wonderful journey of discovery!

A message from the Music Education Office of the National Arts Centre

Hello reader!

What a thrill for us to link up with all of you through these web pages, designed specifically with young people in mind, but certainly of interest to all ages. We hope you find these pages interesting, fun and helpful in guiding you in your study of music, in general, and music for orchestra, in particular.

We have divided the pages in sections for easier access, with information on famous composers and instruments of the orchestra, fun music activities and games, music downloads and video interviews with musicians, and a spotlight on submissions by you including concert reviews, artwork, and letters.

If you live in the National Capital Region, or are planning a trip to Ottawa this year, you can learn about the many programs we offer both at the National Arts Centre and in your school. These range from open rehearsals and student concerts with the National Arts Centre Orchestra to visits by ensembles made up of many of the instruments of the orchestra.

We are here for you if you need us. You can reach us by email at or by phone at 947-7000, ext. 390.

Happy exploring!

Claire Speed
Education Manager

Geneviève Cimon
Education Officer

About the National Arts Centre

The National Arts Centre (NAC) is Canada's pre-eminent showcase for the performing arts and a catalyst for the performing arts nationally – nurturing and supporting artists and arts organizations in communities across the country. The NAC is home to the internationally acclaimed National Arts Centre Orchestra, and is a leader in the presentation of classical music, dance, English and French theatre, variety and community programming – and it has been for over 30 years.

Its mandate is unique. The NAC features classical music, theatre, dance, opera and variety. It embraces the culture of Canada's two official languages – in fact it is the only bilingual performing arts organization in the country to cover the four major performing arts disciplines.

To achieve its vision, the NAC is committed to initiatives that emphasize and restore its national role. To be Canada's National Arts Centre means bringing performances to Canadians wherever they live and, similarly, drawing in talent from across the country to appear on the NAC's stages.

Equally important to the NAC is its ability to strive towards artistic expansion and innovation by recruiting world-class musicians, developing new programs, and using broadband technology to expand its reach across Canada and around the world.

The NAC is also at the forefront of youth and educational activities, supporting programs for young and emerging artists, programs for young audiences, and producing resources and study materials for teachers. Each year it reaches thousands of students from pre-school through university, and it continues to introduce programs are relevant to this growing and dynamic audience.

About National Arts Centre New Media

The National Arts Centre's New Media group is a small team creating online projects which help fulfill the NAC's national mandate. NAC New Media uses today's as well as tomorrow's technologies to engage, inform and entertain arts lovers across Canada and around the world.

NAC New Media works with the NAC's programming and eduction departments to create compelling content for the National Arts Centre's websites, including:

Hexagon is the NAC's research and development project, which leverages next-generation broadband videoconferencing to extend the reach of the NAC's interactive outreach programmes. Tele-mentoring, education outreach, and audience development are explored using ultrafast networks like Canada's CA*net4 and Internet2 in the US.

NAC New Media acknowledges the tremendous support of the Department of Canadian Heritage and our technology partners the National Research Council.